"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Jumbo Shrimp

Apologies to those who have arrived here from some search engine looking for a seafood recipe. If you have got this far, and only want the recipe, skip to the end and enjoy. 

This post is going to deal with the hard reality of being virtually "jumbo" while in reality being "shrimp".

There is no question in my mind why juxtaposition of words that are opposites always intrigues me. Jumbo shrimp, like almost famous is an oxymoron; although most of the ox-like morons I remember were in my grade eight class! But I digress. 

I myself am like an oxymoron (not the grade eight kind) living in the 'real' world, supposed to be 'a man' as a result of appearances, with a male hairline and style and the clothing. No one has to wait to see what washroom I visit in the mall to figure this out; it is "reality".

I also live in this 'virtual' world and here, well, you tell me, am I really neither male nor female? Whatever answer you give, it gets back to the old, "on the internet nobody knows you are a dog" line. If not a dog, then what? Personally, I love the way my therapist puts it; "Remember, you are a good person". She is also a very good person, by the way. Too bad patients and doctors are not supposed to be friends too, but I digress yet again.

There is another sort of virtual world where I have lived as long as I can remember; the one between my ears. In that world there is no question at all anymore about the man/woman business. It really isn't a choice either; it just is.

Is the virtual world the opposite of the real world? Is Virtual Reality an oxymoron?

Personally, because I am who I am inside no matter what people see (ie clothing does not make the woman), my virtual world and my real world are definitely not opposites any more. To recap, here is the way it is. 

The genitals are the way they are because of a non-virtual screw up at birth; wrong chromosomes, correct brain wiring. The voice is the way it is because of testosterone; refer above 'chromosomes'. The passion for life and all it offers is because of who I am. The skills developed and honed over decades of effort are likewise because of who I am.

Some might ask why I have never posted a photo here on the blog, and I will answer, the way I look is not who I am. Unless or until I can look in the mirror after a bath and see the person who exists inside, I will not contribute to the myth of 'being male' in this virtual reality any more than I willingly contribute to that misconception anywhere else.

In a follow-up post I intend to expand on this, but let me just say Leslie's comment to Changing Teams that I am a 'double agent' is amazingly accurate. Just like a double agent, the way I appear to the casual observer tells them nothing about the real person they are with, and it is a tremendous relief to be able to say that and believe it with all my heart. It gives me no relief at all to seem to be part of what I see more and more as the enemy camp; but that is for a later post.

I might be an oxymoron, but I wouldn't lie to you, so just in case you made it this far, or skipped down from the first paragraph, here is the recipe. It is quick and easy and we think it is delicious. Bon Appétit!

Shrimp Linguine in a Tomato and White Wine Sauce from Closet Cooking
(makes 4 servings)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
chili flakes to taste
1/4 cup white wine
1 (28 ounce) can plum tomatoes (crushed)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1/2 cup fresh herbs such as parsley and basil (chopped)
1 pound linguine

1. Heat the oil in the pan.
2. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 6-10 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and chili pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
4. Add the white wine and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes and oregano and simmer until the sauce just starts to thicken, about 15 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta as directed
7. Season the tomato sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
8. Add the shrimp to the tomato sauce and simmer until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side.
9. Remove the tomato sauce from the heat and mix in the parsley and basil.
10. Drain the pasta, toss in the tomato sauce and serve garnished with feta.


  1. Thank you again Halle.

    Double agent ~ yes ~ I'm guilty also.

    You can place me right in the middle of todays post. The only thing I do differently is to be appropriately under dressed as I live in this unintentional male role. This is purely my choice ~ like having a cup of coffee in the morning. Only I and my wife know this.

    And yes ~ you're absolutely right ~ the clothes don't make the woman. I'm not trying to make me the woman ~ that has already been decided ~ as you have so aptly spelled out about the wiring of the brain.

    About the shrimp ~ it sounds like a delicious recipe ~ the sad part is, I'm allergic to all seafood, shell or otherwise. Oh how I wish I wasn't.



  2. You know Cynthia, the under-dressing part is a factor I have conveniently ignored. This may be my preference for thin knee socks that stay up, and tight clothing that cannot be satisfied by anything male, makes buying from the woman's section a must. If I had 'boobs' I'd be wearing a bra too, but currently there is no need.

    As to the recipe, if I was in your place, I would cut up some boneless chicken, or pork into shrimp-sized pieces, season them with some salt and pepper and sauté in a separate pan for ten minutes or so, then add them in at step 8 as a substitute.


  3. I find shopping in the woman's section to be quite delightful. There is always so much more to look at and ponder over ~ as opposed to the 'men's department'. As for your penchant for thin knee socks that stay up ~ I wish I could find some of the same.

    I have on a few occasions worn a woman's t-shirt ~ and found they really do feel much better than the male counter part ~ probably because they are much softer and a little tighter fitting ~ and actually fit my narrower shoulders better than do the wide shoulder male shirts.

    Most of the 'boobs' that I have are furnished by way of the extra fat I carry around. Not proud of it ~ but it does afford me the opportunity to wear a bra ~ which I will admit ~ I do enjoy.

    Substituting chicken or pork certainly seems like a terrific solution to the fish thing. Very good idea ~ I should have thought of it ~ thanks.

    Hugs again,


    PS: Where do they come up with the words for verification? 'esedghemAgracti' LOL!